2. Nick Senzel, Reds outfielder
Nick Senzel has the potential to be the best hitter in the Cincinnati Reds lineup. In fact, the 25-year-old has the potential to be the best position player on the team. One thing has held Senzel during his first two years in the big leagues, and it’s his ability to stay on the field.
During the first three months of Senzel’s rookie season in 2019, he hit .285/.346/.475 with eight home runs, 30 RBIs, 18 doubles, and 4 triples, while also scoring 40 runs. Unfortunately, former Reds hitting coach Turner Ward decided to have Senzel tinker with his swing, and during the month of August we saw Senzel’s production tank. The then-24-year-old hit .184/.238/.296.
Senzel would revert back to his original swing, but a shoulder injury in early September took him out of the remainder of the 2019 season. After going 0-for-7 to begin the 2020 season, Nick Senzel put together a 12-game stretch where he hit .289/.364/.579 with five doubles, two round-trippers, and eight RBIs.
Unfortunately, Senzel was put on Cincinnati’s injured list with an illness and did not return to the lineup until September 14th, one month of after being placed on the IL. Senzel was not in baseball shape and struggled in those final nine games, going 2-for-25 (.080) with a double, no walks, and five strikeouts.
If Nick Senzel can stay healthy, he’ll be the best hitter on this year’s Cincinnati Reds team. The 25-year-old has hit at every level he’s ever played and I have no doubt that he can do it in the majors. Senzel hit .312 during his minor league career and .301 at the Triple-A level. There’s no reason to believe he can’t do the same in the big leagues, but he must show that he can stay on the field.